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Published: January 10, 2014 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Kaufman House renovation plans detailed



ZELIENOPLE — The sale of the Kaufman House could be completed early this coming week.
If that occurs, it could be turned into a boutique hotel with about 20 rooms and a restaurant. But it would not be open for another one and half to two years.
Several dozen officials from around Butler County convened Friday at the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau office in Zelienople to talk about the future of the historic landmark on Main Street.
Plans emerged this week that the Butler County Tourism Foundation is partnering with the Butler County Community College and another agency to reopen the Kaufman House, which has been closed since a fire in the building in late 2011.
If the project comes to fruition, it would rejuvenate the business and turn it into a hotel. It would also include a coffee shop and lounge.
In addition, the BC3 would use the restaurant of the Kaufman House as a training ground for its hospitality management program, which typically has about 30 students enrolled per semester.
However, the plan is in its infancy and there are still a number of grants to write and funds to secure, according to tourism President Jack Cohen.
The project is expected to cost about $2.5 million, Cohen said. The Butler County Redevelopment Authority already is expected to apply for two grants from the state.
The deadline to apply for one of those grants is this coming Friday.
While the building will have an educational component when it reopens, the tourism foundation intends to hire a management company to operate the property as a for-profit entity.
Also released Friday was the news that Zelienople officials are working to build a 150-space parking lot behind the building. Currently, there are only about 30 parking spots allocated for the Kaufman House.
The estimated value of the building is $500,000, but the final sale cost is dependent on an appraisal.
A main draw for the building is that is comes with a state liquor license.
The redevelopment authority estimates an additional $2 million will be needed for renovations.





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